Texas Living

The 13 Best Chinese Takeout Spots in Texas

By Peter Simek 12.1.23

There was a time when East and West coasters claimed there was no good Chinese takeout in Texas. Today, nothing could be further from the truth. Over the past 20 years, Texas has seen a 137% growth in its Asian American and Pacific Islander populations. While these new Texans represent many cultures and ethnicities, Chinese backgrounds make up a large percentage of the group — transforming areas of Houston, Austin, and the northern suburbs of Dallas into robust Chinese communities rich in culture, tradition, and, of course, food!

Luckily, it’s no longer difficult to find some of the best Chinese food in the U.S. right here in Texas. In fact, the overabundance of great Chinese in Texas makes it difficult to narrow down a comprehensive roundup. But for the holiday season, when Chinese takeout becomes a go-to staple during this busy culinary time of the year, we’ve done our best to pick out some top-notch Chinese joints across the state.

Courtesy of Hu’s Cooking

Hu’s Cooking, Houston

Sichuan and Taiwanese flavors take center stage at this Houston restaurant that offers a full menu of takeout classics alongside some delicious specials like Szechuan sauteed lamb, sweet-skinned duck, and Taiwanese beef noodle soup.

Highland Noodles, Frisco

The hand-pulled noodles at this relative newcomer to North Texas’ robust Chinese food scene were hailed by a local food writer as some of the best in the region. Enjoy them stir-fried, sauteed with spicy chili oil, in soup, or served cold as an appetizer.

Fat Dragon, Austin

Located in the far north Barrington Oaks neighborhood, Fat Dragon is popular for its scrumptious soup dumplings — offered both in classic pork and spicy mala — as well as cumin lamb, chicken and napa cabbage, and pork and Chinese chive dumplings.

Courtesy of Noodle Alley

Noodle Alley, Cedar Park

As its name suggests, noodles are the star at this easy-to-overlook Cedar Park Chinese spot that makes all its noodles fresh in-house. Stick with the classic dan dan noodles or sop up some classic Texas cuts like brisket and short rib served in zesty soups.

China Inn, San Antonio

This institution in the city’s Castle Hills neighborhood serves delicious takes on classic Chinese takeaway dishes. It’s that kind of no-fuss reliability that has made this low-key spot a neighborhood favorite.

Courtesy of Chinese Neighbor

The Chinese Neighbor, Prosper

Smoked brisket and mac and cheese may not be flavor profiles you think of when considering Chinese takeout, but chef Bob Tam’s Prosper restaurant fully embraces its Texas roots with a menu that mashes up Hong Kong classics with a Texas twist.

Uncle Zhou, Plano

While much Chinese cooking in America is dominated by Hong Kong or Szechuan styles, this beloved Plano restaurant takes diners to the Henan region of China’s central plains. Enjoy hand-drawn, braised noodles in a rich lamb soup or a whole fish baked with noodles in a delicious sweet-and-sour sauce.

Courtesy of Mala Sichuan Bistro

Mala Sichuan Bistro, Various Locations in Houston Metroplex

With expanded locations around the city, this Houston favorite serves some of the most authentic Sichuan-style Chinese food worldwide, indulging in all things hot, numbing, and tangy. Try the tea-smoked duck, spicy lamb ribs, and green peppercorn beef.

Kirin Court, Richardson

If you’ve never dined in at Kirin Court, you should skip the takeout on your first visit and enjoy an authentic Hong Kong-style dim sum dining experience. In the elegant dining room, servers push carts filled with everything from steamed chicken feet and creamy buns to sticky rice in lotus leaf and clams with black bean sauce.

La Chinita’s Restaurant, San Antonio

Leave it to San Antonio to offer a great Chinese restaurant with half the menu serving equally quality Tex-Mex. The comfort Chinese takeout offers plenty of staples and a few subtle Texas twists like chicken sauteed with serrano chile and served over rice.

Photo by Thomas Nguyen

Fung’s Kitchen, Houston

This Houston favorite has been serving up Hong Kong-style staples with an emphasis on dim sum since the 1990s. A fire in 2021 caused a temporary closure, but the restaurant bounced back and reopened in 2022. Dine in for the classic dim sum pushcart experience or take home some of the best barbecue pork rice noodles and steamed pork dumplings you’ve ever had.

First Chinese BBQ, Richardson

This Richardson spot was one of the first restaurants in the state to show Texans that they don’t have a monopoly on barbecue tradition. With its windows lined with delicious, smoked roasted duck and a generous buffet of succulent pork cuts, First Chinese BBQ is a classic Cantonese-style barbecue spot that attracts devotees throughout the region.

Photo by Dave Carlin

Royal China, Dallas

Even as the northern DFW suburbs have flourished into one of the country’s best destinations for authentic Chinese cooking, this Preston Hollow favorite remains a popular mainstay and stalwart holiday tradition for many Dallasites. Freshly pulled noodles and a dumpling bar specializing in soup dumplings help elevate Royal China’s takeout-friendly menu to unexpected culinary heights.

Are all of these delicious dishes making your mouth water? Check out our roundup of wintertime weeknight soup recipes for more food for thought.

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